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Thursday November 25, 2010 - 16:00:29 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (25 November 2010)

The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3360 level and was supported around the $1.3285 level. Technically, today’s intraday high was just above the 61.8% retracement of the $1.2645 – 1.4280 range.  Liquidity conditions were expected to remain light today on account of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and were expected to remain light through the weekend.  Data released in the eurozone today saw the French consumer confidence indicator improve to -32 from the previous reading of -34 and data to be released tomorrow include German November consumer price inflation.  European clearer LCH Clearnet today raised its margin requirements for Irish bonds for the third time this month following more market volatility after this week’s bailout of Ireland by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.   Ten-year Spanish yields inched up for the eighth day today and shook off comments from the Spanish finance ministry wherein they stated they anticipate no problems tapping the capital markets.  European Central Bank member Weber said the regional financial assistance fund that has been tapped by Greece and Ireland could be enlarged if needed.  Traders have resorted to selling Portuguese and Spanish debt to take advantage of widening yields relative to German bund benchmarks.  ECB member Tumpel-Gugerell said the central bank is “in a period where we don’t think that we would need additional measures…(banks are) much more stable and able to get their own funding.”  Her comments follow similar comments this week from ECB members Mersch, Wellink, and Stark.  Most traders believe it is a matter of time before Portugal is forced to accept a bailout much in the same way Ireland accepted one last week.  German Chancellor Merkel moved the euro considerably lower this week when she suggested future financial bailouts need to be partially borne by bondholders and investors.  Merkel today said Germany wants a “strong euro” and said her call for investor burden sharing will not be instituted before 2013 and will not apply to existing debt in the market.  In U.S. news, many data were released yesterday.  MBA mortgage applications reversed course and climbed 2.1%.  Also, October durable goods orders fell 3.3% with the ex-transportation component off 2.7% and other core components also lower.  Additionally, October personal income and spending were up 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively.  The October PCE deflator was up 1.3% y/y and October core PCE was up 0.0% m/m and 0.9% y/y.  Weekly initial jobless claims fell to +407,000 from the previous week’s reading of +441,000 and continuing jobless claims tumbled to 4.182 million. These improvements may reflect some holiday seasonality.  Moreover, the final November University of Michigan consumer sentiment indicator rallied to 71.6 and October new home sales were off 8.1% to an annualized 283,000 units with the September house price index off 0.7% m/m.  Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting on 2-3 November were released this week in which “nearly all members agreed that the statement should reiterate the expectaton that economic conditions were likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds target rate for an extended period.”  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3120 level. 

¥/ CNY

The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥83.70 level and was supported around the ¥83.40 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was just above the 23.6% retracement of the ¥81.65 – 83.85 range.  Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Nakamura reported “When we look at upside and downside risks comprehensively, downside risks appear to be outweighing the upside risks slightly.”  BoJ Governor Shirakawa on 5 November noted the economic risks were “roughly balanced” and recent economic performance indicates the economy is slowing.  Nakamura also reiterated the central bank can take “appropriate” action when necessary, an indication he is concerned about risks to the yen and Japanese equity markets.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the October corporate service price index fall further to -1.2% y/y while the October merchandise trade balance total increased to ¥821.9 billion.  Traders continue to monitor developments on the Korean peninsula following this week’s military skirmish.  There is renewed market talk Bank of Japan may expand its balance sheet by purchasing Japanese government bonds much in the same way the Federal Reserve announced it may purchase up to US$ 600 billion in U.S. Treasury securities.  Currently, BoJ purchases ¥21.6 trillion in long-term JGBs every year and the new talk suggests the central bank may scrap its bond purchase cap in favour of purchasing significantly more JGBs to try and overcome deflation.  The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.50% to close at ¥10,079.76.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥84.60 level.  The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥111.60 level and was supported around the ¥111.00 figure.  The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥131.35 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥83.45 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.6503 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.6536.  People’s Bank of China Assistant Governor Li Dongrong cited “upside risks” to domestic inflation, the latest indication the central bank remains seriously concerned with upward price pressures.  Data released in China today saw the October leading index tick marginally lower to 101.57.  The November MNI business conditions survey will be released overnight.   People’s Bank of China this week reported it will “strengthen liquidity management” and “normalize” monetary conditions.  Earlier this week, People’s Bank of China adviser Li Daokui reported China may consider selling U.S. Treasuries as “compensation for losses” incurred by the Fed’s decision to purchase US$ 600 billion to inject liquidity into the U.S. economy.  Li said the “very likely” run-up in inflation would erode the value of China’s holdings of U.S. debt and justify such a move by China.  Li also verbally intervened on the yuan, saying its further advances “should be gradual” and not “excessive.” 


The British pound depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 1.5725 level and was capped around the US$ 1.5795 level.  Cable extended its recent sell-off and reached its lowest level since 26 October.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 50% retracement of the $1.5295 – 1.6300 range.  Bank of England Governor King reported economic risks are “balanced” and said the central bank is ready to act either way if required.  King is being criticized for supporting the government’s fiscal plans in which the Cameron government said it will be reducing the U.K.’s budget deficit by cutting spending.  BoE Monetary Policy Committee member Tucker said the U.K. economy is relatively weak but making “reasonable progress.”  MPC member Sentance said current monetary policy is quite loose while MPC member Miles said additional bond purchases by the central bank remain an option.  Data released in the U.K. today saw November CBI reported sales climb to +43 from the prior reading of +36.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 1.5665 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested offers around the £0.8480 level and was supported around the £0.8430 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.0020 level and was supported around the CHF 0.9940 level.   The pair reached its strongest level since 21 September.  Data released in Switzerland today saw the Q3 employment level tick higher to 1.0% and 4.08 million.  Swiss National Bank Chairman Hildebrand verbally intervened this week, saying the European Union will restore stability and adding current exchange rate movements are a “major challenge.”  Other data released in Switzerland this week saw the October M3 money supply up 6.1% y/y.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.0045 level.  The euro appreciated vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF 1.3350 level while the British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.5790 level.


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